An agreement may soon be in place between Juneau School District and Juneau Education Support Staff.
A tentative, three-year agreement between the district and its second biggest employee association was announced in a district press release Monday afternoon, but neither the district nor the educator union is sharing details about the potential contract at this time.
JESS, which is a bargaining unit that represents about 320 district employees with a contract set to expire by July, has yet to ratify the tentative agreement, and the next step in the bargaining process will be a vote expected to take place Saturday to determine whether the agreement has JESS members’ approval.
Juneau School District Superintendent Bridget Weiss said Tuesday afternoon if JESS favors the agreement, the district would then move quickly to ratify the agreement.
Weiss said the bargaining process has been efficient, which is backed up by the date at which the tentative agreement was announced.
Members of JESS and district administrators signed the previous three-year agreement in mid June 2016.
“This negotiation process with JESS has been highly collaborative, very constructive, and it’s always an exciting time to sort of recalibrate and recommunicate what needs are on both sides of a contract,” Weiss said in a phone interview. “We’re really excited about the potential of having a three-year contract again.”
Weiss said she anticipates the agreement will be discussed during an executive session at a Tuesday, May 14 school board meeting.
More agreements announcements could be coming in the next weeks and months.
The district is also negotiating with Juneau Education Association and Juneau School Administration Association.
Both of those organizations also have collected bargaining agreements with the district that expire at the end of June.
“We’re in the process with both,” Weiss said. “The JSAA is not as far down the line, but it’s typically a quicker process.”
Laura Mulgrew, JEA president, said she could not share specifics about negotiations beyond confirming they’re ongoing, which is a positive indicator.
“JEA and JSD continue to meet to negotiate at this point,” Mulgrew said. “They’re still at the table.”
Weiss said negotiations with both JEA and JSAA are making progress, but she declined to attach a date to when agreements might be announced.
However, she characterized the ongoing discussions as productive. Mulgrew agreed with that assessment.
“It’s going well,” Weiss said. “It’s very constructive and very positive.”
• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.